WaterAfrica Board

Gary Mittelstaedt began serving as WaterAfrica’s President in October 2014. He joined the WaterAfrica Board in 2012 having a desire to make meaningful difference in the lives of those living in extreme poverty. He and his wife Judi traveled to Zambia with WaterAfrica in 2010 and saw first-hand the life transformations that began for village people when clean, sustainable water is provided by the World Vision Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program. They learned how foundational this healthy water is for all subsequent community development efforts including food security, health, children’s education, and economic empowerment. Their second trip to Zambia in 2015 was very exciting to see the tremendous progress being made. Gary retired from Intel Corporation January 1, 2014, following 17 years in global business development roles. Gary’s 45-year technology career included companies Mentor Graphics, Advanced Micro Devices, Honeywell Information Systems and General Electric.

Kevin Cummings is a founding board member of WaterAfrica and currently serves as Treasurer. In 2007 he traveled to Zambia on a church sponsored World Vision trip and his heart was broken as he witnessed the lack of safe drinking water sources.  He observed women and girls walking long distances to retrieve water from contaminated shallow wells and from streams used for bathing and for watering livestock. Desiring to live out his calling in life to be the hands and feet of Christ, he is committed to providing safe water for people in Zambia.

Alan Shiffer began serving on WaterAfrica’s Board in 2019. He’s been involved with WaterAfrica since participating in the initial Walk4Water in 2007.  Alan has seen the powerful impact of clean water in Zambia during his 15 visits there since he joined the World Vision staff in 2010.  Alan and his wife, Diane, traveled to Zambia with WaterAfrica in 2018. Earlier, his son, Rob, visited Zambia in 2014. Their family are long-time members of Lake Grove Church. Alan joined World Vision following a business career including corporate roles in financial services and entrepreneurial startups in management consulting and technology.

Kathy Chan began serving on the WaterAfrica board following her Vision Trip to Zambia in 2018, after witnessing first-hand the importance of clean water as the initial step in transforming a community to a thriving village. Currently, Kathy serves WaterAfrica as Secretary and primary contact for Facebook.  Kathy retired in 2016 from the Beaverton School District after teaching for over 34 years.  Her faith and experience working in Title 1 schools, led her to understanding poverty on a global level.  As an active partner with the Columbia-Willamette Women of Vision, Kathy has traveled on 2 other Vision Trips (Bangladesh and Bolivia) to see how World Vision transforms communities by empowering women and children through WASH, child friendly centers, and health education.

Jan Mahar Sturdevant began serving on the WaterAfrica board in 2020, after participating in Lake Grove Presbyterian’s Walk for Water with her granddaughters for several years and traveling to Africa on a safari. There Jan felt how precious clean water was to those living there. One group of village leaders repeatedly cried aloud “Miracle, Miracle” aloud with tears in their eyes. They saw how we could provide water that is clean – clean of diseases that kill so many of their loved ones. Currently, Jan serves WaterAfrica as Vice President and hopes to facilitate enhancing the data infrastructure regarding past history to enhance future planning efforts.  Jan retired from IBM in New York as a computer programmer and from Penn State University as an information technology professor. Currently she is an adjunct professor at Portland State University teaching project management in business capstone courses. Her faith in God’s guidance and her past local volunteering efforts at Julia West House, Emergency Food Bank and Doors to Grace remind her of how blessed many of us are. …enabling us to reach out and make a difference in others’ lives.